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About this Whole Thing...

This Website is a digital and public journal where I place some of my thoughts, ideas, feelings, notes, conjecture, even inspiration on the deep and broad topic of magic. For the most part, the theme here will be an attempt at serendipity, that is almost haphazard and off the cuff but (I hope) working out as a useful resource for the Web surfer in search of magic-centric content.

Disclaimer: to avoid writing out some ridiculous mini-history of my journey with magic I had to deliberately write sections in a manner detached from chronology. It was the only way to keep this brief because – and I have not always known this about myself – I tend to be a self-important doofus at times and must keep that in check.

I’m an Eclectic Conjurer 

Most of my study and practice occur within the range of the Western Esoteric Tradition but I have some background in the Eastern Esoteric Philosophy and I do borrow from Taoist, Buddhist, and Hindu doctrines and methods. While I am drawn to the philosophy and technical work of my European ancestors and their Near Eastern neighbors and forebears, I often use wisdom from the East to fill gaps within the Western model.

For instance, I have integrated the chakra system of Tantric lore and the energetic meridians from Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, et al, into ritual and spellcasting work originally informed by Hellenistic, Celtic, and Renaissance practices. I found this borrowing necessary because such information was either lost with the fading of oral traditions or the destruction of documents by the Vatican and its predecessor movements, or perhaps (but less likely) because no corresponding knowledge was possessed by the Druids, Magi, Kabbalists, etc.

My First Dose of Magic …

… came at a very early age when my mother taught me how to pray to an invisible but equally invincible, so I was told, father-protector who, per her instructions, would love and watch over me and all the things I loved. You might imagine, this was a fascinating concept to a boy whose Earthly father happened to be conspicuously absent not only in that moment but throughout much of my youth.

I won’t bore you with the details of that part of my journey nor is this little About page intended to serve as a chronological history of my magical training. I shall let it suffice to say that I learned much about the unseen hand of god, the devil, or who and whatever during those early years and while many (most?) of my views are now quite a bit different from my childhood grasp of the matter, I’m not at all uncomfortable saying my introduction (or indoctrination, if you must) to traditional religion proved overall beneficial in the end.

Keep One Point

Beginning at the age of 14, my esoteric journey towards the end of my devout Christianity but preceding any exposure to Western magic, unfolded on the state of Asian martial arts systems. I was delighted and mesmerized by my very much inadvertent discovery of ki, which is the life force of the Universe that flows through everything, including you and I, and can be harnessed with practice and an understanding of “One Point”. I can still feel the newness and rush of adrenaline of those early realizations.

Runes and Stones and Herbs, thanks Mr. Cunningham

I had an older friend in possession of certain books, crystals & rocks, and these peculiar little white stones adorned with stick-like symbols he called runes. I had no contextual idea nor intellectual grasp of what I was looking at, but I intuitively understood to cast a few runes from the bag with a question unspoken.

When I consulted the pocket guide to see what my chosen runes indicated, I was blown right into orbit. Holy shit, thought I… this stuff is real.

And so, at the ripe old age of 19 I read my friend’s Cunningham books on crystals and herbs and the wheels started to turn. Brian, my buddy, gave me a green, felt, drawstring bag with some stones and we occasionally would, as our rigorous marijuana-inhalation duties allowed, discuss the (not really) finer points of reincarnation, deja vu, synchronicity, and the aliens at Roswell.

I still have that green bag and some of the stones. They matter to me quite a lot, actually.

Magic in Them-There Hills

I am also very blessed to have been born and now live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. There are multiple folk traditions in the surrounding regions, bearing the hallmarks of such sources and influences as Pow Wow, Hoodoo, and Granny Magic to name a few. I’m fortunate to have been exposed to my local lore and methodology along my journey.

Latecomer to the Tree

Kabbalah and the Tree of Life had an epic impact on my study and understanding of the magical universe and molded a good deal of my magical paradigm. Retrospectively I am very pleased to note that I found the Tree by Name only after years of solo study and practice. This is, in my mind, good because it means my early-formative exposure to and hands-on experience with magic was void of any Kabbalistic doctrine or dogma, so I feel my experience with the Tree is of a more genuine, experiential and less indoctrinated nature.

Paranormal Experiencer, Right Here

I will undoubtedly bring some of this out as I blog along but for now I’ll simply state the facts. I have dealt with what an exorcist would call demonic possession, lived in and visited many so-called “haunted” houses, seen four UFOs (so far) and generally have throughout my life enjoyed (usually) what people might refer to as “paranormal” events and experiences. Whether or not these incidents were influenced by me or vice-versa I can’t say with certainty, but I imagine it’s always a little of both. I absolutely believe experiences of this nature have a positive impact on any magical or mystical practice, at least from a developmental context.

It’s in My Blood

I didn’t say this first because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Point of fact no special hereditary license is required to engage with the forces of magic. People who insist otherwise and who just happen to have said hereditary advantage are friggin’ jackasses.

It is cool, however, if you can trace any talent back along the ol’ family tree. Unfortunately, I am only aware of a very limited number of confirmed examples in my lines.

My paternal great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother were very openly what we. in today’s vernacular, would call “granny witches”. I have no idea what they called themselves but figure it more likely they assumed no particular title.

I knew my great-grandmother (Maw hereafter) very well but never met her mother. What information I have on the latter woman is only what I gleaned from Maw’s stories.

I was the only grandchild for many years and in the tradition of my rural peeps, for whom family occupied center stage in life, the elders began teaching the “young-uns” the do’s and don’ts of the world, along with family history, very early in the child’s life via story. Lots of simple fables, maybe a spinoff of a Bible story, and retelling of their own life experiences but it’s pretty epic stuff to a four-year old, 10-year old, etc. Hell, even a dipshit 15-year old who thinks he’s too cool is really on the edge of his seat for these narratives. Damn, I realize in this moment how badly I miss those days and those people; my heart literally aches as I type this.

Kind of a cool sidenote: Maw was half Cherokee (her mother full-blooded Native and father a 5th generation Tennessean of German descent) and many of her stories were recounts of the “wildmen” who caused much trouble for the farmers of Fall Branch, Tennessee way back when she was a girl. If you don’t already know, “wildman” is a reference to what people from other regions call Bigfoot.

My paternal grandfather was, all very casually and nonchalantly, an energy healer or folk healer in modern terminology. A touch or rub and a few words was all it took to wipe away any number of common dings and bangs or ailments.

Also, my mother is a seer. To be precise, she can see the future, or faraway places, and the spirits of the dead. She is quite talented, but will do nothing to pursue or develop the abilities.

It’s not that she thinks it’s “evil”, or any of that (remember my peeps are all Christian). She is just happy with her spirituality as-is and not looking to go off the reservation. I happen to believe she could cultivate her talents and remain Christian, and she would probably agree. I suppose her disinterest in actively pursuing her sight (She won’t hesitate to speak up when she sees, but she won’t try to do it on purpose either.) is a sort of cautionary or just-in-case approach to avoid pissing the Big Guy off ahead of judgement day.

If you assume the mother and I disagree on some matters theological or spiritual, such assumptions are indeed safe. She’s still cool with how I do things and I may drop into church with her on Easter or here and there if she asks me to.


That’s enough about me for now.

Somehow and somewhere within the mixture of commentary and rambling and soap-boxing and public inquiry that is this blog, I hope the newcomer to the topic will find answers and prompts to aid in his or her magical journey. Equally interesting would be any enhancements or corrections offered by those who have walked many miles, perhaps many more than I, along the magical path.

From time to time an associate of mine may contribute, and in these instances his or her name will be noted in the author byline.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ash L’har

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